Wednesday, April 8, 2009
Why Joe Tuscano never ran track
In the previous post, Observer-Reporter sports writer Joe Tuscano went into great detail as to why he never went out for the track and field team at his high school.
Tuscano, no spring chicken and prone to fits of crankiness, took exception to Tuesday's full schedule of track meets, which were held despite snowy, frigid conditions. For Tuscano, competing in such conditions were too difficult despite claims of varsity gridiron greatness.
That's not the real reason Tuscano, who once cleared a whopping 9-6 long jump following an office challenge, never competed in track. Take a look at the picture on the right and draw your own conclusions.
Granted, Tuesday's conditions were not ideal and any baseball/softball games scheduled were postponed. That's not how things work in track and field. Like football and soccer, track is contested in most conditions – lightning being an exception.
I understand what track athletes went through Tuesday. As a former sprinter, I competed in conditions similar to or worse than what Washington and Greene County experienced. Sure, personal bests and school records aren't set under such conditions, but so what?
Never hear too many complaints that a running back doesn't set a single-game rushing record when it rains.
There are dangers to competing in bad weather and, off the top of my head, there aren't many positives. When it comes to track, the length of the regular season must be considered. Track is more physically demanding than baseball and softball, thus competing in five meets in five days is not realistic. And let's not forget that the WPIAL track playoffs begin later this month (April 29). That's two weeks before the start of the baseball and softball playoffs.
I didn't mind running in poor conditions though I didn't care much for snowy meets. Makes you appreciate those wonderful, warm days a little more.